Scientific Visualization

Vacancies not available

Please note that there are no more vacancies for this course. Video recordings will be made available on this page post-event.

The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) is pleased to announce the online course "Scientific Visualization," which will be held from October 12 to 13, 2020 (CEST Timezone).

Course Description

This online course serves as an introduction to general topics in 3D Scientific Visualization available on Piz Daint. We briefly introduce several well known stand-alone OpenGL applications. For the remainder of the presentations, we then focus on the use of Jupyter notebooks (JupyterLab) available at CSCS and on the ParaView application. We discuss common data formats and how to import data into ParaView.

We present standard visualization algorithms for 3D scalar and vector fields and demonstrate two Jupyter-based widgets for ParaView rendering and polygonal and volume rendering (ipyparaview and itkwidgets). Finally, we present and demonstrate photorealistic rendering in ParaView (desktop and JupyterLab).

Handouts will be distributed in the form of ParaView Python scripts and Jupyter notebooks.

Target Audience

CSCS users wishing to create data visualization with a mix of Python programming and ParaView application. For the most part, we will do visualization on a single-node with multi-core and/or GPU acceleration.

Participants are required to have basic familiarity with JupyterLab at CSCS (jupyter.cscs.ch) and a local desktop installation of ParaView (www.paraview.org).


Monday, October 12, 2020

The morning session is an introduction to various topics and several applications for 3D visualization at CSCS.

9:00-10:00 Overview of applications/libraries for 3D Visualization

  • VTK
  • ParaView, VisIt
  • VNC remote desktops for 3D OpenGL applications (VMD, Ovito, etc.)
  • Jupyter Notebooks. Matplotlib animations.
  •  Q&A

10:00-10:00 Break
10:30-11:00 File formats for scientific data output

  • VTK Grid Types
  • Binary (MPI-IO)
  • In-situ
  • Q&A

11:00-12:00 Introduction to the ParaView application

  • Importing numpy arrays

The afternoon session and the following day are dedicated to the ParaView application.

13:30-15:00  Visualization Algorithms and Methods in ParaView

  • Scalar Field Visualization
  • Volume rendering
  • Vector Field Visualization
  • Time-dependent data
  • Python scripting - Data Selection and Queries

15:00-15:30  Q&A

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

9:00-10:00  Photorealistic rendering for 3D visualization

  • Raytracing, Path-tracing, Ambient Occlusion, etc...

10:00-10:30  Break
10:30-11:00  Physically Based Rendering
11:00-11:30   Q&A


Dr. Jean Favre (Senior Visualisation Software Engineer, CSCS)

Participation Fee

Registration for this program is free-of-charge. Mentors and learning materials are offered by CSCS.


All participants must register for the course. Registered attendees will receive the ZOOM details for participation at the email provided a few days prior to the workshop start. The link and password you will receive are unique to you and should not be shared with others.

Deadline for registration: Friday, October 2, 2020.

Please note that the workshop can take place only if there are sufficient registrations received by the deadline. The minimum number of participants is eight. Registration for the course will automatically close when we reach the maximum number of participants (30).


Inquiries may be addressed to jean.favre@cscs.ch.